Now more than ever, the importance of communications has many businesses re-evaluating their customer interactions to meet increasing expectations for accurate, timely and relevant content.
Good communication is especially important as we face new distance challenges due to COVID-19 that are forcing everyone to find new ways to interact without physically meeting.
As a result, digital communications including email, SMS/text messaging and portals will become increasingly important—and potentially the new normal—for doing business. And, while crisis workarounds are fine in the short term, longer-term solutions will require technologies and expertise that many businesses may not have today.
Customer Communications Management Software Helps Businesses Shift to Digital
Paper may never go away, but blending in digital can reap tremendous benefits. Customer Communications Management (CCM) solutions can help businesses make the shift to digital and fulfill the growing need to offer and manage multiple touchpoints (paper and electronic).
With today’s CCM software solutions, you can simply create a single communications template regardless of the number or type of delivery channels. This allows you to efficiently reformat and repurpose communications to accommodate multiple delivery channels (e.g., convert a printed document to PDF for e-mail delivery).
By transforming from paper to digital, thus offering multiple delivery methods, businesses of all sizes operating in a multitude of verticals can significantly reduce operating costs and at the same time, improve customer satisfaction.
How to Successfully Serve Customers Across Multiple Customer Communications Channels
Customers today expect and demand service through whatever communications channel that happens to be the most convenient for them at any given time. To successfully serve customers across multiple channels, businesses must:
- Utilize a single, integrated solution across all delivery channels – If customers get one answer from a printed letter and a different one from an email, they won’t trust either one, and they definitely won’t perceive their experience as being positive.
- Manage all delivery channels in a common manner – Frontline employees need to be able to see whether the customer they’re helping has recently received correspondence and in what form. Businesses should avoid sending out an email in response to an issue that has already been resolved with a previously printed letter. Examples like this highlight the importance of not treating each channel as a fragmented “silo” of communication—but instead managing all channels in a common manner.
- Use “right-channeling” – Businesses don’t have to be passive in how they use their various communications channels. They can take steps to direct customers to the delivery channel that is most appropriate in terms of effectiveness and cost. This can be done, for example, by sending emails to customers with links to a web-based, self-service resource portal. A printed letter campaign can educate customers on the benefits of enrolling in email correspondence. By employing techniques like these, businesses can reduce costs, provide better service and ensure that frontline resources are allocated to issues that really require personal attention—rather than on endless routine ones.
Customers Expect Digital Communications
Although the world was already moving toward digitalization, recent experiences due to the COVID-19 pandemic will certainly increase customer expectations for full digital access and accelerate these trends.
Business processes that are inefficient or at a heightened risk of failure, such as communications that involve paper, will demand immediate attention.
Businesses that are just now beginning to rethink their manual, paper-laden communications processes, and systems that rely heavily on human intervention are already behind the curve.